In many ways, Aria Minu-Sepehr had a what sounds like a typical American childhood. He went to an American school. He watched Sesame Street and Little House on the Prairie. He made Popsicle skeletons for Halloween and went water-skiing.
But Minu-Sepehr was far from the U.S.: he grew up in Iran in the 1970s.
His father was a major general in the Iranian Air Force, a position that carried a high level of prestige. So as a child, Minu-Sepehr basked in what he acknowledges was a kind of privileged bubble — a wealthy, somewhat secular, Western-focused world. The Iranian Revolution in 1979 burst that bubble. The Shah was overthrown, Ayatollah Khomeini took control, and the old military and ruling classes were rooted out.
Minu-Sepehr’s family escaped. He lives in in Corvallis now, and writes about his family’s story in his new memoir We Heard the Heavens Then.